A recent survey shows that while the majority of Canadians (59 per cent) experience symptoms of potential eye disease, only half (54 per cent) reported that they had seen a healthcare professional.
"Many people don’t rank eye care as highly as they might annual physicals or routine dental visits,” says Dr. Charlotte Wedge, Chief, Department of Ophthalmology at Michael Garron Hospital.” But regular eye exams are really the best way to prevent eye disease from progressing, resulting in vision loss or blindness.”
May is National Vision Month, and a good opportunity to give your eye health a second look with these tips.
- Have a comprehensive dilated eye exam
Is your vision blurry? Do you squint a lot? Regular eye doctor appointments are important to maintain eye health, particularly if your eyes are bothering you or if you notice any changes in your vision. Regular eye exams can also detect many common eye diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic eye disease and age-related macular degeneration – conditions which often have no warning signs.
- Eat right, protect your sight
Eating well isn’t just good for your body, it’s good for your eyes too. Eat a well-balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens. Salmon, tuna, and halibut have been shown to help your eyes too.
- Get physical
Another reason to stay active! Being overweight can put you at higher risk for diabetes and other conditions that can lead to vision problems.
- Keep the germs away.
Always wash your hands before putting them close to your eyes, especially if you’re putting in or taking out contact lenses.
- Gear up.
Wear the right protection to keep your eyes safe. Many eye injuries can be prevented with better safety habits, such as using protective eyewear.
- Wear your shades.
The sun’s rays can hurt your eyes. Choose sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB radiation from the sun.
- Give your eyes a break.
Do you spend a lot of time looking at a computer, phone, or TV screen? Staring at any one thing for too long can tire your eyes. Give your eyes a rest with the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look about 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
- Say no to smoking
Did you know that smoking is as bad for your eyes as it is for the rest of your body? Smoking can put you at risk for some pretty serious eye issues, which can lead to blindness.